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Thread: 'Big Shots Go Down at Gun Show', 20 Jan BusinessWeek.com

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    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...5000370242.htm

    The setting was Las Vegas, but no one was expecting fireworks at this year's Shot Show, the annual gun industry trade convention. Sure, sales of firearms and ammunition rose in the wake of Barack Obama's victory, as Second Amendment buffs—fearing a Democratic Administration would push new restrictions on weapon ownership—rushed to stock up. Yet what the industry calls the "Obama stimulus" had already started to tail off by the time gun marketers converged on Las Vegas.

    Then the feds crashed the party. The FBI used the convention to round up 21 industry executives who allegedly fell for an undercover sting in which they agreed to pay illegal kickbacks to the defense minister of an African nation. In exchange, the small arms marketers thought they were securing the opportunity to sell millions of dollars in weapons and body armor. Unfortunately for them, they were transacting business with FBI operatives posing as middlemen, according to indictments unsealed by a federal judge in Washington. A 22nd suspect was picked up in Miami. "This is one case where what happens in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer at a news conference.

    One of the men arrested in Las Vegas was Amaro Goncalves, a vice-president of sales for Smith & Wesson (SWHC), the largest U.S. manufacturer of handguns. A federal grand jury alleged that Goncalves agreed to pay a 20% kickback to clinch the sale of 1,825 pistols for use by the presidential guard of the African government (the name of the nation is not revealed in the court filings). Goncalves and the others stand accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribery in seeking overseas business.

    Goncalves' employer has not been charged, and neither has any other company. Smith & Wesson said in a written statement that it has "no information beyond what has been reported" and is "prepared to cooperate fully with law enforcement."

    "Obama Stimulus" Fizzles

    The arrests created a stir among attendees at the Shot Show. The FBI gave the organizers no warning and caught everyone by surprise, says Mark Thomas, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the show's sponsor. But Thomas denies the raid cast a pall over this year's proceedings. "It's business as usual," he says.

    The gun industry still faces the fizzling of the Obama sales rally. While Smith & Wesson and competitors such as Sturm Ruger (RGR) and Glock reported strong financial results in 2009, many executives expect a cooling off in 2010, especially in sales of semiautomatic rifles, which had surged last year.

    Reliable statistics are hard to come by in an industry where many players are private companies, but one set of data confirms that a shift is already under way. The federal government reported that mandatory criminal background checks, which gun retailers must carry out in advance of a sale, dropped 7.6% in December, to 1.41million, from the previous year. "Things are getting back to normal, meaning they are slowing down," says Cameron Hopkins, a gun marketing consultant based in suburban Las Vegas who attended the Shot Show. "The good times never last forever."

    http://news.google.com/news?q=Justic...+Practices+Act


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    Then the feds crashed the party. The FBI used the convention to round up 21 industry executives who allegedly fell for an undercover sting in which they agreed to pay illegal kickbacks to the defense minister of an African nation.
    Lords of War

    In all seriousness, what fools. Great way to make our fight for guns rights better by making anyone attached to the gun industry (including its customers) look like a bunch of criminals. Of all places, at the damn Shot Show....

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    tekshogun wrote:
    In all seriousness, what fools. Great way to make our fight for guns rights better by making anyone attached to the gun industry (including its customers) look like a bunch of criminals. Of all places, at the damn Shot Show....
    Why not at the Shot Show? It wasthe best place forObama and Holder to make the biggest splash possible.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
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    Well, if the evidence is accurate, then so be it. They broke the law and now they'll have to pay the price.

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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
    "I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. I am, rather, a realist."
    "The most dangerous things I've ever encountered were a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass and a Private who was bored and had time on his hands."

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    Innocent until proven guilty.

    We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.

    Given the entire political picture of the current powers that be, I'm skeptical of this action. Making these arrest at an industry convention makes me wonder. Was it a matter of convenience, to be able to scoop them all up at one location? Or was there politcal purpose to do this, to paint with a braod brush an entire industry as being currupt?

    I cannot put the current administration above carrying out underhanded operations to further their agenda.

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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    SNIP Given the entire political picture of the current powers that be, I'm skeptical of this action. Making these arrest at an industry convention makes me wonder. Was it a matter of convenience, to be able to scoop them all up at one location? Or was there politcal purpose to do this, to paint with a braod brush an entire industry as being currupt?
    I was wondering the same thing. Its too pat.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    SFCRetired wrote:
    What is funny as H... to me is that the United States' industries are the only ones that are hobbled by that law. I will guarantee you, from my observations in both Saudi Arabia and Egyp, that very few, if any, other nations' industries are so hampered.
    Yes, but those aren't companies connnected to an industry under attack for the last 42 years (I'm counting from the Gun Control Act of 1968).



    (ring, ring) "Hey, Eric. It occurs to me BATF has created a lot of economic pressure on the evil gun manufacturersby driving hundreds of gun stores out of business. I'll bet some of them are hurting enough to take bribes. You know, the bribes Congress made illegal for US companies, but nobody else pays attention to because that is how business gets done overseas."

    "Great idea, Mrs. Reno! Especially since the courts have nuanced the legalities of entrapment in our favor. Given how desperately we need every agent tostop terrorism, we can probably take a few agents away from turf wars with CIA and assign them to something like this.

    "Oh, by the way, Mrs. Reno. I want you to know what an inspiration you have been to me. I hope I can measure up. I don't have any little kids I can deport, but something like this might be a real feather in my cap. Thanks a lot."

    "You're welcome, Eric. Just remember to extract concessions from BATF. They're real bastards over there. God, I would have loved to have had them under me!"
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    You guys are not possibly suggesting that our government would in any way use quasi legal tactics to hamper free trade or harm American businesses in the global market place. And further more please tell me that none of you are suggesting that any members of the Chosen Ones cabinet would ever stoop to such a low level. Say it ain't so!! I'm horrified.

    When I sold software and equipment overseas, especially in the Middle Eastern area, there were no deals made ever without some sort of incentive being paid to a broker. And that broker was used to keep our hands clean. We sold to the broker at a premium, and then he sold to the government at a good price and took care of the kick backs out of what we paid him in so called brokerage fees. And our government knew dam well that it was happening. They only did this at the venue that they chose, so that they could do a show of force for our so called friends in the UN. This is all a part of them trying to show that they can indeed enforce the new human rights/gun control treaties that Obama and Hillary are trying their damnest to get onboard with. This is the exact reason why it is imperative that the NRA vs Chicago suit go our way. Because if the SCOTUS does not vote in our favor, the Feds will be able to shove that treaty so far up our keesters that our 2A rights will never again see the light of day. When soem foreigner in a UN uniform comes to your door asking for your guns, WHAT WILL YOU DO??

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    bufordtpisser wrote:
    When soem foreigner in a UN uniform comes to your door asking for your guns, WHAT WILL YOU DO??
    What about a UN foreigner in a SWAT 'uniform' with your local cops behind him. "POLICE, police! No knock warrant. Open up! Stand clear of the door. POLICE!"

    How about Officer Friendly at the door with an UN Reichsfuhrer behind him?

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    Master Doug Huffman wrote:
    How about Officer Friendly at the door with an UN Reichsfuhrer behind him?
    Yes, as they attempt a Röhm-Putsch....

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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    Innocent until proven guilty.

    We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.

    Given the entire political picture of the current powers that be, I'm skeptical of this action. Making these arrest at an industry convention makes me wonder. Was it a matter of convenience, to be able to scoop them all up at one location? Or was there politcal purpose to do this, to paint with a braod brush an entire industry as being currupt?

    I cannot put the current administration above carrying out underhanded operations to further their agenda.
    Besides the usual innocent until proven guilty gambit, we have to spin this as a 2nd Amendment INFRINGEMENT!!!!

    Remember, any lie repeated enough time....will be believed!

    It matters not a whit if these guys are guilty. We cannot afford to admit or even recognize that gun company guys did anything wrong!

    Hmm, maybe we can blame this on the NRA somehow....



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    Thank goodness the whole concept of Entrapment is null and void.
    I aim to misbehave

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    rodbender wrote:
    Why not at the Shot Show? It wasthe best place forObama and Holder to make the biggest splash possible.
    +1 what a great place for the anti's to advance the gun evil message.

    Don't the feds and high ranking politiciansmake arms deals with other nations all the time? "Do as we say not as we do"
    Im proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    Don't know much about the investigation, but staging the arrests at a gun show was clearly an attempt to connect gun-shows with jiggery-pokery about firearms sales to promote the "gun-show loophole" myth. I am a bit surprised that the Feds did not bring along some weepy VA Tech and Columbine relatives to fill out the photo-op.

    This is however pretty much SOP. When Bush I wanted to make the point that dope dealing affected his neighborhood, too; he had the DC police and the DEA lure a crack dealer to Lafayette Park (across from the White House) to make the deal and be busted. There was a small problem in that the idiot dealer did not know what the White House was or where it is. But, they finally got him to show up, arrested him, and GHW Bush then held a televised speech wherein he could say that his family too was not able to walk the neighborhood because of the nasty drug dealers.

    That, and the SS wouldn't let him, but nevermind....

    It will be interesting to see how the criminal case plays out, but as to the timing and place of the arrests? Chicanery. Pure and simple. A transparent ploy. Maybe this is what Obama meant about running a transparent administration.:quirky

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    I was there and talked with the Agent who handled the arrests, they were conspiring to commit bribery in arms sales. Nothing to do with the Second Amendment.

    They took the Company Attorney in. So much for free legal advice... damn.

    THE SHOT SHOW ROCKS.

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    Regular Member Alexcabbie's Avatar
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    Capn Camo wrote:
    I was there and talked with the Agent who handled the arrests, they were conspiring to commit bribery in arms sales. Nothing to do with the Second Amendment.

    They took the Company Attorney in. So much for free legal advice... damn.

    THE SHOT SHOW ROCKS.
    Who was conspiring? the agents? (When dangling, watch your participle).

    Seriously, though, you left out the word "ALLEDGEDLY". And it is far from as if they were caught red-handed swapping a kidnapped troop of Girl Scouts for a load of cocaine. Indicted, were they? Well, there is an old saying that any prosecutor worth his salt could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

    I am not saying the arrestees were innocent either. They may well be guilty as all hell; but my point was that the thing could have been handled quietly by arresting them at work but NOOOOooooo..... They wanted to make a big ssplash and link "gun show" with "gun crime" and the international arms market angle kinda seems intended to shore up the "Mexican drug cartels get arms fron U.S. due to 'lax gun laws'" bullkrap. That's what this has to do with the 2A.


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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Capn Camo wrote:
    I was there and talked with the Agent who handled the arrests, they were conspiring to commit bribery in arms sales. Nothing to do with the Second Amendment.

    They took the Company Attorney in. So much for free legal advice... damn.

    THE SHOT SHOW ROCKS.
    Who was conspiring? the agents? (When dangling, watch your participle).

    Agents conspiring to commit bribery in arms sales wouldn't be surprising.

    Just the other day I saw a documentary where some cops cooked up a batch of meth to show how easy it is. No word on when the indictment will come down.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Interesting. If they broke the law so be it. Would like to know more about what is going on.

    Now since they got that kick back scheme out of the way I wonder if they will investigate that interesting situation between the Clintons and the Ruler of Dubai.

    Didn't the case of the State of Florida vs Prince whats his name disappear?

    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    the context takes care of the dangling. Its obvious who was conspiring if one party was S&W and the other the FBI. Neither did I leave out "allegedly" since there is no Constitutional burden on me to do so, I cannot charge them with anything. "Allegedly" does not apply to an Agent telling us a story, there is no allegation of a story. Kindly save the English lectures for another Forum.

    Best I recall, it was a foriegn arms sales with a 20%'price reduction' to sweeten the deal, um, bribery of sorts. Apparently its illegal even if the actual kickback occurred out of the Country if an American participated.

    It didnt "cast a pall over the show" didnt even hear anyone talking about it. I wouldnt have known about it except we happened to have dinner with one of the Agents. These arent Keystone Cops, they dont come in with lights flashing.

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